Environmental Studies

Think Green!

This is an exciting time to study the environment and all of the related issues! It is important to have well-educated citizens who can speak intelligently about environmental issues with politicians, reporters, scientists, government employees, and the public.

Building our green future starts now!


Exploring our natural enviornmentOur faculty are campus leaders who deliver integrated and interdisciplinary education, both in the classroom and as student research mentors. The faculty teach ENVS courses, plus courses in their own disciplines, such as BIOS, ANTH, LAW, and TECH to mention only a few. Their research is global, conducted at sites in places such as Mexico, Madagascar, Indonesia, and Antarctica.

Transfer Student Resources

If you are completing your associate's degree and working toward completion of the Illinois Articulation Initiative General Education Core Curriculum, you should try to take classes that will satisfy requirements for your degree at NIU. For example, you must choose either a B.A. or B.S. sequence in environmental studies at NIU. Students with interests in biodiversity and environmental restoration, energy studies, or water will need the B.S. while students in the human experience, environmental policy, and non-governmental organization can choose either the B.S. or B.A. option.

Leading Today

Environmental Studies students do not hesitate when given the chance to make an impact around campus and the community. Faculty, staff, and students worked together to break ground and plant native plants near Grant and Stevenson Residence Halls. The native plant garden is maintained by current and future ENVS students.

Internships Make a Difference

Internships are an enlightening and fulfilling opportunity for students that will soon be entering the workforce. They bridge the gap between the classroom and the workforce.

Research for a Better Environment

Students are encouraged to engage in research starting in their first year at NIU. The ENVS faculty provide opportunities to conduct research in the wide variety of areas associated with Environmental Studies.

What can I do with this degree?

Environmental issues are found in every kind of workplace. As awareness of these issues grows, the need for people with a blend of science and policy knowledge will also grow. Environmental Studies graduates can expect to find careers as environmental planners, analysts, and policy-makers. They can also manage corporate compliance with environmental regulations and conduct audits of internal environmental efficiency.

Graduates in environmental studies are not only knowledgeable in their program emphasis; as interdisciplinary students, they have also gained the critical and job-ready skills of flexibility and versatility. There is a growing need in all forms of media for eloquent voices to communicate environmental messages. Informing the public about environmental issues and what they can do about them is a driving force behind the movement. The diploma is also a good starting point for an advanced degree.

The challenge for Environmental Studies majors is not whether they will have jobs, but how to find the jobs and how to market themselves and their training.

group photo 


The ENVS program gave me the unique opportunity to explore my interests in creating a sustainable future
through courses in a variety of departments. I took Environment-related classes in Biology, Geology, Geography, History, and Women’s Studies that truly interested me and applied to my field of study. 

— Christina Rauh, student

Degree Information

Students can earn a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies. Six emphases are available for study: Biodiversity and Environmental Restoration (B.S. degree required); Energy Studies (B.S. degree required); Human Experience; Environmental Policy; Non-Governmental Organizations; and Water (B.S. degree required). The B.S. can be used in conjunction with the Secondary Science Teacher Certification (http://www.niu.edu/sstc/index.shtml) to teach Environmental Studies and Science at the junior and senior high school level. The entire program is designed so that students transferring from community college should be able to finish their degree within two years.

Students interested in studying any subject can benefit from earning a minor in Environmental Studies. Students with ENVS minors would be able to bring knowledge of sustainable practices to their jobs.

Who is influential in the environment?

URAD StudentsContact Information

Environmental Studies
Montgomery Hall 325
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

Ph:  815-753-6563

Have a question? 

Email us: envs@niu.edu